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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo


Fragment ID: 8663

(this fragment is largest or earliest found passage)

Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee

May 3, 1933

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Traditional Paths of Yoga [1]

How is it that Patanjali has given such an unusual definition of Yoga: yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ [Yoga Sutra 1.2]? Was “divine union” not the aim of Yoga in those days?

Divine union, yes – but for the ascetic schools it was union with the featureless Brahman, the Unknowable beyond existence or, if with the Ishwara, still it was the Ishwara in a supracosmic consciousness. From that point of view Patanjali’s aphorism is sound enough. When he says Yoga, he means the process of Yoga, the object which has to be kept in view in the process – for by the cessation of cittavṛtti one gets into samādhi and samādhi is the only way of uniting solely and completely with the Brahman beyond existence.

3 May 1933


1 SABCL, volume 22: unity


Current publication:

[Largest or earliest found passage: ] Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.

Other publications:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.